US interrogation tactics were torture: ex-State Department attorney

Former US State Department lawyer Vijay Padmanabhan criticized the administration of former president George W. Bush for approving extreme interrogation techniques against terrorism suspects, in an interview with the Associated Press March 27. Padmanabhan, who now teaches at Cardozo School of Law in New York, served as the State Department’s chief counsel on Guantánamo Bay and Iraq detentions. He said he believes the interrogation tactics used on some detainees constituted torture, and that the Bush administration was wrong to argue that the detainees were not protected by the Geneva Conventions.

Earlier this month, excerpts from a previously-undisclosed report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) characterizing tactics used against terrorism suspects at Guantánamo as torture were published in the New York Review of Books. Also this month, former Colin Powell aide Lawrence Wilkerson criticized the Bush administration for arbitrarily detaining innocent civilians at the base. (Jurist, March 29)

See our last post on the Guantánamo and the torture scandal.

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